Adoption t-shirts now available

Clevenger Adoption

Unisex T-shirt $20

Hey everyone, I have something I am super excited to share with you!  Eric and I have  started a new fundraising push for our adoption by selling t-shirts through Bonfire.  I designed the shirt to represent all of you who are standing behind us, supporting us and cheering us on.  You all mean the world to us for all of the things you do and have done for us.  I chose not to put our name on the shirt or make it very specific to our adoption because I wanted it to represent an overall support of adoption and what it represents.  I really like what I came up with and I hope you do too!

Clevenger Adoption

Sweatshirt $45

We have set the goal to sell 100 shirts over  the next 21 days.  In order for this fundraiser to be successful we need all of your help!  We really want to make this work and give you all a great product for your support.  I am a big believer in getting something for any donation you make to us, so I love the idea of a t-shirt fundraiser.

We have several options available.

  •  Unisex t-shirt $20
  • Ladies slim fit $20
  • Long Sleeve $25
  • Sweatshirt $45
  • Youth $15
Clevenger Adoption

Long sleeve $25

We need to sell a minimum of 11 shirts in order for them to go into production.  This is totally doable with your help. However, if we do not hit 11 shirts sold, they will not be produced and everyone who did pre-order one will not be charged.  We do not want that to happen, so please help us by purchasing a shirt and sharing this fundraiser with your friends and family.

Once the project has successfully finished the shirts will ship out directly to you within 14 business days.  I look forward to sharing the successful results of this fundraiser with you all!

What are you waiting for? Go check the shirts out and pre-order yours today!

Mini Vacation

Hey everyone!  How’s it going?  Eric and I are doing great.  We were lucky enough to take a mini vacation to Dale Hollow Lake, one of our favorite spots, this past week to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary.  Let me tell you, we had a blast for the short time we were there.  We left on Sunday and were back on Tuesday.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

The scenery driving through Kentucky is just gorgeous! Since we live in Indiana our drives are normally pretty flat with lots of corn and soybean fields, so being in the hills of Kentucky is a treat for long road trips.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

Of course, I wore my own makes the entire time we were there!  Also, that tent behind us was a gift for our wedding 8 years ago that had never been used.  I am so glad we finally got to break it in and I cannot wait to go camping again with a few bits of glamping added in.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

Monday, we decided we would hike the 2 miles from our campsite down to the marina.  I forgot my tennis shoes, so I footed it in my sandals.  Probably not the wisest decision I have ever made, but the walk was well worth it.  Next time I will remember them and we can go on other hikes, like the waterfall at Sulpher Creek.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

I think I made Eric stop about every half mile so I could take some pictures.  I didn’t bring my camera, just my phone.  Lately, my phone has been taking far superior photos anyways.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

Once we made it to the marina an hour later, we had to wait around for the rest of our small group (Eric’s dad and a family friend) to wake up and meet us.  While waiting I spotted this moth and was able to get super close to take this picture.  I love the coloring and the patterning.  I am feeling very inspired to make a jumpsuit out of a fabric that is similar.  What do you guys think?  Let me know of any fabrics if you spot them.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

Eventually, we made it out on the water where we spent most of the day.  Dale Hollow Lake is a 27,000 acre reservoir on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee with some of the most gorgeous relaxing views you will ever see. With it being a Monday the lake was not overcrowded making it relatively calm waters.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

I am not one who likes to swim in lakes, because I cannot see to the bottom.  Once, when I was a kid, I had a leach that stuck to the bottom of my foot after getting out of the lake that may have something a lot to do with this.  It takes a lot of coaxing to get me into the water, which is 84 feet deep at this point.  Once I do get in I really do enjoy it though.  Look at the color of that water!  Talk about serene blue.  I would like to say that my previously made swimsuit held up pretty well too.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

The only new make that I brought was this previously unblogged version of McCall’s 6744.  I made it before the trip from 1.25 yards of Girl Charlee Knit Fix fabric that I got from someone on Facebook.  I left the dress/swimsuit cover up in my in-laws camper, so it may be a bit before I get it back to take full photos of.

Musings of a Seamstress - Dale Hollow Lake

We had to cut our trip a day short due to weather.  We were checking out the lodge in the Dale Hollow State Park, after we got off the boat, when the tornado sirens started going off because a tornado touched down 7 miles north of us.  We were shuffled down to the basement where we waited out the storm. The weather got pretty hinky out, which made us nervous about sleeping in our tent. We were surprised and relieved to find that our tent was still where we left it and there were only a handful of rain drops that got in, so we stuck it out for another night. The forecast for the next day was more storms, so we decided to pack up our tent that morning and head back.

All in all it was a great trip and we cannot wait to go back again.  I have only been down a few times with Eric, but he spent a lot of time down here as a kid.  This is definitely a spot we will be taking many family vacations to after we adopt.

What are some of your favorite vacation spots?

Preventative Stashbusting Maintenance

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1804 front

I know, I know, July is my month to host the Stashbusting Sewalong theme of dresses and here I am presenting my newest maxi dress made from newly purchased fabrics.  To make matters worse, I am even parading my newest fabric purchases before the whole of the sewing community.  What kind of example am I setting for all of the sewalong participants and myself?  I am calling it preventative stashbusting maintenance.

If I buy it now and use it, it will not languish in my stash next year.  Oh, that is a thing that other sewists who don’t have stashes do on a regular basis?  But what if they see a fabric that if left in the store will cause them to drop dead right there?  You are telling me they will not really die?  I don’t believe that crazy theory and I don’t think I will test it either.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1804 front 2

This is my newest maxi dress using Simplicity 1804 view A.  I posted about purchasing this fabric last month and not knowing which dress to make with it, so I asked the whole of Instagram and Facebook which pattern to use Simplicity 1804 or Simplicity 1355.  The overwhelming response was Simplicity 1804.  I did use S1355 for the coral chevron maxi that I posted a couple of weeks back.  I do not think I could be happier with both of these dresses.  When you need help deciding the Sewcialist community is always there to point you in the right direction.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1804 back

I used all 3 yards of the wonderful chevron print ITY jersey and 3 yards of nude swimwear lining that I purchased back in June.  I also used a header/scrap of a peach colored ITY that I got from work last year.  The total cost for this dress is $32.97, making is one of the “pricier” dresses I have made.  It is worth it though as I love this dress.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1804 lining

One of the biggest changes I made was redrafting the front bodice, because of how last years version fit.  I kept the sleeve, shoulder and bottom the same and changed the center front seam by raising the neckline 4″ to provide more chest coverage.  Oh yeah, there is a seam in the center front of that bodice, check out my mad pattern matching skills! :)

I eliminated the facing around the neckline, since I hated that from the last time I made this, in favor of stitching a narrow hem around the sleeves and neckline.  I did, also, add an underlining to the bodice and a full loose lining to the skirt.  This chevron fabric is a bit on the lighter side and I felt like I needed a little extra weight to the dress.  I chose to use swimwear lining because it has the most similar stretch, weight, and feel as the chevron did.  I picked a nude over a white for the same reason I will always wear a nude bra,  it blends in better with my skin tones making is less noticeable.

Have you ever worn a white bra under a white shirt?  The bra will show through your white shirt almost every time.  Now go try on a nude bra with the same white shirt and it won’t show through, I promise. Go ahead, I will wait.  It doesn’t show through does it?  And that is why I choose a nude lining over a white.

You can read my full review for Simplicity 1804 on Pattern Review here.

I mentioned something earlier about parading new fabrics right?!  Well here they are.  As part of the annual summer fabric destashing at work we were given the opportunity to purchase some of it by the roll.  I paid $35 for 31 yards of fabric, about $1.12 per yard.  Not to shabby.

Musings of a Seamstress 6.2015 purchases

Now, working in the show choir industry most of what was there was sequins and glitter.  However, there were a few fabrics that I have had my eye on for a couple of years now.  Those two floral prints to be exact.  One is in a blue colorway and one is in a purple.  From the moment I saw them I thought they would make great maxi dresses and that is exactly what I am going to make with the blue one.  The purple is just shy of 3 yards, so I think just a knee length dress for that one.  I got 2 yards of lime green milliskin tricot, which has already been cut for it’s intended purpose of being used for testing the Bombshell Swimsuit pattern, more on that another day.  Also pictured above are 12.75 yards of black Georgette and 4.5 yards of nude milliskin tricot.

Musings of a Seamstress solid sequins 1I also walked away with 5 yards of this solid sequin stunner! The base of the fabric is a 4 way stretch ITY that is covered in black sequins that have a reflective rainbow appearance when the light hits them.

Musings of a Seamstress solid sequins 2


This was a hard fabric to photograph to show it off, but I did manage to get these two pictures.  I have big plans for this one that should only use two of the five yards. Big plans!  Yep that’s right, a sequined Morris Blazer!  I think this will be great for fall, providing an element of cool casual style into my work wardrobe.  I am really looking forward to sewing this blazer up within the next couple of months.



Dressing Your Body Type

Much has been written on the different body shapes for women including best clothing styles to wear.  I don’t know if I am going to provide any new groundbreaking suggestions or theories, but I hope I can help inspire someone to try a pattern or style they have never thought about before.  First, it has been said many times by many people, size is just a number and you should be dressing your shape not your size.  I fully believe this!

5 Body Shapes

Image from JJ Image Consulting

There are five basic shapes: triangle/pear, rectangle/column, oval/apple, hourglass, and inverted triangle.  I am going to briefly go over characteristics of each body type and give some examples of patterns and styles that would work best for each.


Triangle body shapes are characterized by your smaller upper body in comparison to their wider hips. You have a well defined waistline.

Because of your smaller chest you will want to try styles that accentuate it like empires.  Things like ruffles, pleats and gathers help to enhance your chest.  Avoid dresses with a fitted skirt and instead try those with an A-line skirt.


Simplicity 1155

McCall’s 7801



Vogue 8728






Rectangles tend to be proportionally balanced, meaning their chest, waist and hips tend to align.  You will most likely have defined calves and balanced thighs.

You are going to want to try styles that create curves like empires with details such as ruching or pleating and basic bias cut dresses.  Also, styles with defined or structured shoulders work well and are on trend right now.  Avoid shapeless straight styles and fabrics with vertical patterns as they do not create curves on you.

McCall’s 6752

Colette Oolong

Vogue 1342














Ovals have a wider waist than your bust and hips.  You have slim legs and a well proportioned face and neck with your bust.

Since your waist is larger try attached styles.  These will have an empire bodice with a ‘belt’ and an attached slightly fuller skirt. Wrap dresses that tie at the waist will also work well.  These will help to balance out your proportions.  Avoid slim fitting dresses as they will make your hips and legs look even smaller in comparison to your waist.

Simplicity 3823

McCall’s 6959








McCall’s 6073











Hourglass shapes have a bust and hip line that are almost identical in proportion with a smaller more defined waistline.

Attached style dresses and wraps also work well for you with well defined V-necks or scoop necklines.  Avoid cowl necks and higher cut necklines as they can create the illusion of a larger chest and shoulders than you have.  Also avoid baby-doll or all over loose fitting styles that will make you appear shapeless.

McCall’s 6922

Blue Ginger Doll – Billie Jean


Vogue 8633

Inverted Triangle

Inverted triangles have narrower hips and a smaller defined waist. You have broader shoulders and a fuller bust that make you statuesque.

Wrap dresses and A-line dresses work well for you to balance out your hips with your shoulders.  Lower scoop and V-necklines will help to elongate your decolletage.  Strapless and asymmetrical styles will fit your body type too.  Avoid styles with defined shoulders or shoulder pads and slim skirts as they will increase the definition between your chest and hips.

Simplicity 2250

McCall’s 7119

Simplicity 1609









There are so many more pattern options out there that would work for each type. A lot of them will work for multiple body types too.  Pattern Review is a wealth of information as well.  If you are unsure of if a pattern will work for your body, check the reviews for it on Pattern Review.  Pay attention to the body type of the reviewer.  Do they have a similar body shape to you?  How does the style look on them?  Would you be comfortable in it?  These are just a few good questions to ask yourself before cutting into your coveted stash fabrics.  Making a muslin is also a huge part of it.  If you do not like how the muslin looks on you, chances are you probably won’t like it in your stashed fabric either.

Do you dress to your body type now?  Why or why not?

July Stashbusting Sewalong: Dresses

Musings of a SeamstressHey stashbusters, this month is all about stitching up those fantastic dresses you have been planning.  I am so excited to be hosting this month!  If you are not yet familiar with the Stashbusting Sewalong, let me introduce you.  We are running a year long sewalong to curb our insatiable fabric collecting tendencies.  Each month there is a different theme to inspire you to sew up you stashed fabrics.  All themes are completely optional, so if one is not quite your thing you can sew up whatever you want that month.  As long as you are sewing through your stash you are on the right track.  You can join our group on Facebook and Flickr.Musings of a Seamstress

Personally, I am on the quest for the perfect dress to wear to a wedding I am attending in August.  I have come up with a few patterns and fabric combinations that I think would work, so I am going to make them all up this month then pick one to wear.  I also have a some posts planned out for different ways to finish dress hems, picking the best dress style for your body types, and adding your own spin on a pattern.McCall's 6073 M6073

I hope you can join along this month!  It should prove to be a great opportunity to use some of those gorgeous fabrics you have been holding onto.

Are you in?

Simplicity 1355 Maxi Dress

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1355This past week I did a little stashbusting and I am pretty stoked about it.  I made Simplicity 1355 view B, the maxi dress.   I styled it with my version Simplicity 2227 that I made back in April and one of my favorite tan belts.  I ended up using 2 yards of stashed scuba from Girl Charlee that I bought on Black Friday last year and some small scraps of white swimwear lining for the straps. The total cost of this dress, $7.00.  SCORE!!Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1355This pattern has pockets, so you know it had me from the start! Originally, The pattern had a seam down the center front of the skirt with a slit. I opted  to put both the front and back skirt pieces on the fold because I didn’t want to have to print match a seam in the center front.  It just looks cleaner to me with out it.  I still wanted to put a slit in it for movement, so I put one in each side seam.Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1355For fit I made just a couple of alterations.  First, the amount of ease in the side seam is out of control!   I ended up taking out 3″ from the top of each underarm and tapering it down to nothing in the side seam of the bodice.  I also ended up taking 3″ out of each strap too.  Without those alterations the dress just hung so low below the band of my bra that I knew I would be uncomfortable wearing it.  Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1355My only real issue with the finished dress is the back. The cross over is so low my bra hangs outs the top, plus the straps do not quite hit in the right spot to cover my bra straps.  This probably means I should just find a different bra to go with this dress.Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1355 Overall, I am pretty pleased with the outcome of this dress.  I like it paired with my denim jacket and I think it would work great with one of my white cardigans too.  I hope to wear this a lot this summer and try to make the jumpsuit version too.  You can read my full review of the pattern here on Pattern Review.

For now I am off to sew up another chevron maxi.

This always happens…

On Friday I went to Jo-Ann’s to get some lightweight flannel plaid to make new pajama shorts for Eric.

Musings of a Seamstress - PlaidThis is the fabric that I picked.  It is 2 yards of the same fabric as I made his other pair out of just a different colorway and plaid weave.  He really likes the other pair and with it being so warm he needs another pair, so I need to get on that this week.

Then this happened.

Musings of a Seamstress - Chevron

I couldn’t help myself and found myself perusing the Red Tag fabrics which were 50% off their clearance prices.  This large navy and white chevron print stole my attention.  Then I felt it and discovered it is some sort of soft ITY stretchy knit.  I was a goner!  I had to have it and so 3 yards of this goodness came home with me.  Plus, I am participating in the Maxi Dress Sewalong that Amy and Ashley are hosting, so it will definitely get used this month.


Immediately I thought I wanted to make Simplicity 1804 view A, which I have made in the past.  I mostly wanted to make this pattern because the fabric is the same print just different colorways than the one on the pattern envelope.  That dress in that print is why I bought this pattern.  I love my other version, but do I really need two versions  of the same dress?


The other pattern I have been dying to make is S1355.  I want to make the jumpsuit but for this fabric I want to make the maxi dress.  Only I want to change the skirt portion.  I want to put the fabric on the fold instead of having a seam and a slit in center front.  This way I don’t have to do any print matching and I get a clean look in the front.  I also want to move the slits to each side seam so I still get the room for movement.  If I don’t use this fabric for this dress, I have two other Girl Charlee fabrics that would work well for this pattern too.

Now, I ask you all, which dress should I make?

Simplicity 1801 Review

Musings of a Seamstress - S1801Of course I made a new maxi dress!  Maxi’s are my favorite summer uniform. I cut and started this dress in May, but didn’t get to finish it until this week.

Musings of a Seamstress S1801

I love this dress!  The biggest change I made was that I used a knit instead of a woven like the pattern calls for. Because of this change I eliminated the zipper and made the dress a size smaller than I normally would.

Musings of a Seamstress S1801 I also added an underlining to the the entire bodice and an interlining to the yokes as well as the belt to help support the weight/stretch of the ITY skirt.

Musings of a Seamstress S180

I eliminated the facing around the neckline in favor of a narrow turned and stitched seam finish.

Musings of a Seamstress

Before alterations

I also had to make a minor adjustment to the center front.  Much like when I made Simplicity 1804, the neckline of S1801 was way too low cut for my preference.

Musings of a Seamstress

To solve that issue I took my center front seam up 2.5″.  When taking it up, I ended up taking out about 5/8″ more.

Musings of a Seamstress

After alterations

Taking it up definitely helped.  I am much more comfortable with this neckline.

Musings of a Seamstress S1801

The best part of this pattern is that it has pockets!  I think all dresses I make should now include pockets.

Musings of a SeamstressThis back view is kinda wonky with all that bulky fabric at the waist.  I think I am just standing funny with my hip popped weird.

Musings of a Seamstress S1801


I ended up using 3 yards of purple and tan sparkly heathered ITY knit from Fabric Mart, $3.00.  For the underlining I used half yard of black swimwear lining from Jo-Ann’s, $4.59.  Total cost for this new maxi is $7.59.  Pretty darn good in my book.  Oh and all 3.5 yards of fabric came from my stash.  That brings my total stash fabric used this year to 49.25 yards.

You can read my full review on Pattern Review.

Me Made May Days 25-31

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 25: Monday

Ahhh…Memorial day, a day off of work.  I wore my newest version of McCall’s 6559, which was made way back in March.  This version used exactly 1 yard of a teal ponte that has been in my stash since 2012. It is a little short than I would normally wear though, so next time I will add about 3″ to the hem.  I believe the fabric was from a mystery bundle from Fabric Mart, so I am estimating the cost to be around $1.50.  I will for sure take that cost for a new dress.  I also wore it with my Butterick 5789 vest.  This is the third time I wore this vest this month and I cannot seem to get enough of it.  I originally made it specifically to be worn with this dress though.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 26: Tuesday

This is one of my favorite makes from last year, McCall’s 5974!  This fabric is so bright and fun.  It stands completely on it’s own in my wardrobe.  Nothing I own or have made comes anywhere close to the intensity of these colors.  I did also wear the original wearable muslin version of this dress later in the day as well.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 27: Wednesday

This was an incredibly hard day.  The Thursday before I learned that my oldest and dearest friends’ mom had passed away after a battle with cancer and Wednesday was her funeral.   I have been friends with this person for 24 years now and know her family pretty well.  Her mom was an amazing women who taught me a lot.  The one that I will always remember from when we were younger was when I asked her why she was wearing sunglasses in the winter because I had always associated sunglasses with being for summer only (I don’t know what to say other than I was a weird kid).  She looked at me and laughed and said “Well the sun is still out now, isn’t it”.  She was like a second mom to me often and I will never forget her.  In preparing to go home for the funeral I grieved by stressing about what to wear and decided I had  to make a new dress and cardigan.  I decided to go with my standard McCall’s 5974 from 1.75 yards of black ponte and Butterick 5789 from 2 yards black baby hacci sweater knit.  Both are newly purchased fabrics this month from Jo-Ann’s.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 28: Thursday

Big surprise, I wore another version of McCall’s 5974!  I think maybe I need to lay off of this pattern for awhile since I have made 8 versions of it.  I don’t know if that will happen though.  It is just such a well fitting and comfortable pattern that it is my go to summer dress.  We’ll see what I make this summer, as I do have a few other patterns picked out.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 29: Friday

For fear only ever wearing M5974 all week, I choose to wear one of the self drafted skirts I made back during the Adoption Dress project.  This skirt has pockets and a slightly gathered contrast ruffle.  I paired it with a white tank top and wide black belt.  Similar to the McCall’s dress I have about 7 different versions of this skirt as well.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 30: Saturday

Oldies but goodies for today.   Both the top and the shorts are me made pieces from ages ago.  The top is possibly from 2009 and the shorts are from 2012. The shorts  were way too big in 2012 and not so much anymore, so that kind of sucks.  You know all those awesome “You should be sewing” meme’s Leila keeps making, yeah well, I think I need on that says “You should be running”.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day  31: Sunday

And now we have reached the end of another Me Made May.  Today I wore the self drafted skirt I made back in January/February.  I don’t know what it is about this skirt but I just cannot seem to style it.  I feel like I want to wear one of my wide belts with it but I can’t since I made the waistband wide and ruched.  Also, I just have not liked any of the tops I own with it.  None of the colors go well, except black, and no matter which I choose I feel pretty column like in this look.  I appear to have no shape whatsoever.  I really think it needs a belt.  I don’t know if I will wear this again without changing the waistband.  On a side note, I promise that the hem of this skirt is not angled like the picture makes it look.  I was just standing at an awkward angle, which you can’t even tell because I look like a column.  Ughhh!

Me Made May Days 18-24

Musings of a SeamstressDay 18 Monday

I wore my self drafted chiffon skirt.  I love this skirt and I need to make another one.  Maybe I will write a tutorial for it.
Musings of a Seamstress

Day 19 Tuesday

I wore my white cotton burnout paisley McCall’s 5436 top from forever ago over a turquoise tank top with a red and orange necklace and jeans.  I love the turquoise with the red and orange combination.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 20 Wednesday

I wore my leopard challis Simplicity 1280 with a lilac studded belt and jeans.  This was the first top I made using challis and I don’t know why I waited so long.  I want to make all the things forever with challis!

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 21 Thursday

I wore my Simplicity 1317 top with jeans.  I really like this pattern as evidenced by the 3 versions I have made so far.  More will follow for fall.

Musings of a Seamstress

Day 22 Friday

I wore two me made pieces today.  The striped vest is Butterick 5759 that I made in March.  The other is the New Look 6875 top I made way back in 2013.  I have made 2 versions of this top and it is a great basic that I really need to make more of.  That way I do not keep buying RTW versions from Target.  I did make some fabric purchases on Friday as well. One of which was for another version of this vest. Only it has sleeves, so I guess it is a cardigan now. The other was for a dress. More on these later this week.

Musings of a SeamstressDay 23 Saturday

Ha! I didn’t realize it until posting these pictures but the t-shirt I am wearing here is the other version of New Look 6875 I made from 2012.  The sweater I am wearing is McCall’s 6844 made last year from Girl Charlee hacci sweater knit.  I have to say I am not pleased with how this sweater has worn.  The pattern is perfect and I will make several more.  The fabric, however, is a whole other story.  I love Girl Charlee, but this fabric piled as soon as I washed it and it only continues to get worse.  The blue piles onto the white and the white onto the blue.  Maybe I just need to get one of those sweater shaver things, but as it is I am hesitant to buy the hacci sweater knit from GC.  Anyone else have this problem or should I give this fabric another shot?

Day 24 Sunday

No picture for Sunday.  I kinda cheated and just wore my pajama pants.  I did make them so I guess maybe I didn’t cheat.